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Old February 22, 2013, 10:04 AM   #1
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Brass Quality/Manufacturer Question

Is the manufacturer, as it relates to quality, of brass significant to accuracy?

I understand the importance for uniformity. I have weighed all the brass. For my "accuracy loads" the brass I set aside is all within a one grain range. For example, for my .243 I set aside the brass from 162.4 to 163.3 grains. Any brass outside this weight range will be used for fouling shots or less serious shooting.

Having done this, as-well-as properly prepping the cases, does it really matter for accuracy who the manufacturer of the brass is or or even if there is a mix of manufacturers?

Thank you in advance,
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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You can determine for yourself which headstamp provides the most consistency. I find that Federal brass is the most uniform around the primer pocket (pretty important) with a small flash hole, flat bottom and centered. Remington not quite as well done and a lot of Winchester is terrible. I try to load only Federal brass in my .243 and do not weight sort it, but I did anneal it all and I get sub 1/2" groups from my BDL.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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I'm not an official target shooter or a long range shooter, but I do shoot quite a lot and I have opinions on brass. In my 220 Swift, for instance, I have always thought that I got very slightly better accuracy with Norma brass than I did with Winchester. That accuracy difference might only be in my head. In the 223 I was shooting yesterday and the 2 days prior to that, I felt like accuracy was better with the Nosler cases than with the Winchester cases. I can't put it in terms of inches or millimeters, but I got slightly better groups when using the Nosler cases. All cases of both types were highly prepped and neck turned.

This is like a lot of things that I have views on. I can write a large book on what I think, but a rather small book on what I know and can prove.

Probably you need input from the serious shooters, though their views might be just as opinionated and unproven as mine. We all know what works and what we like, and we don't like to wander away from that unless someone we highly respect says that you need to use *****'s cases. Then we run out and buy.

I like Norma and Nosler cases for sure, and I can't complain about Hornady. Remington and Winchester have done fine for me, though I've never felt that they were 'the good stuff'. I haven't used Lapua yet, but have some on order (backorder). I have no history with Federal cases or military brass.

And I should mention that I recently tested, with my 223, the accuracy from highly prepped and weight sorted cases of the same lot number and maker versus non-prepped cases from random makers. The random cases did not shoot as well as the 'good stuff', though honestly the difference would not matter to a hunter.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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+1 for 603Country's response, I could not have said it better. For hunting rounds I use the cheap stuff, W-W and R-P, but when I'm shooting for groups Norma brass has done right by me.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:33 PM   #5
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Commercial and arsenal made match ammo's got case weight spreads of up to 3 or 4 grains. And there's 3/10ths to 4/10ths spread in powder charge weight. Good lots of it will shoot under 6 inches at 600 yards; easily. At 100 yards, it'll be well under 1/3rd inch.

I wouldn't be concerned about case weight unless you shoot your stuff inside 1/3 MOA at 100 yards. Until that happens, fix the stuff that's bigger cause of poor accuracy. Start with using bullets whose diameter's a few ten-thousandths bigger than the barrel's groove diameter. Next move on to good reloading tools and techniques. Then to better barrels and how the receiver's bedded.

Don't forget to accurize yourself, too. You're part of the system that shoots those groups testing your ammo.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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I have found certain companies make superior brass in certain calibers.

Examples: 45Colt. WW & RP brass is weak and thin. Luck to get more than 3 reloads before the case mouth cracks appear. Starline however makes brass in this caliber that is thick and strong. I have reloaded Starline cases in 45 Colt 10 times and the brass looks like it could go thru 10 more.

45-70. For this round & shooting Black Powder (BP), I like WW because the brass is slightly longer & thinner, thus I can get 3-4 more grains of BP in the case. When shooting an 1895 Marlin, I like Federal because the cases are thicker & stronger than WW or RP.

Norma brass, although costs much more, would be my brass of choice in the belted magnums. My experiences are less case stretch with max or near max loads.

If you shoot some of the milsurps, PriviPartisan is your only choice. I have been impressed with their brass. Case stretch has been minimal or nonexistent in some calibers, but then I never even get close to max loads with the milsurps
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Hmmm, all my targets are still up and my reloading gear is still set up, and I have some random cases primed (which I was just wondering what to do with). Might be interesting to load up the random cases with varying powder charges versus random cases with precise powder charges versus the control group - Nosler cases, prepped, with precise powder charges. I do not believe, until shown otherwise, that accuracy will be equal in all 3 groups.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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Re: Brass Quality/Manufacturer Question

My .243 Woodsmaster and 30.06 BBR both shot right at 1 MOA with factory hunting ammo. Although I expect "the rifles" will shoot better now that I have considerably more quality trigger time since I last shot them. It seems for these two rifles that the cartridge matters may be of little practical significance.

However I am shooting around 1/3 MOA now with my CZ 527 in .204 Ruger. Trigger, barrel, bedding, and such mechanical enhancements aren't in the picture for the near future. That leaves reloading related improvements.

I'd be interested in knowing more about the bullet diameter. Grading bullets is not something I know about. I'll also be interested in hearing about 603country's experiment.

Thanks fellows,
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:24 PM   #9
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Most commercial boxer primed cases are good but I've enjoyed R-P brass the most. I like how the primers seat into it and it has held up well. Second in bottleneck cases for me would be Federal.

In straight wall cases I still favor R-P and Winchester (WW or Win) then Federal (FC). Truth is I purchase range brass more often than not and about the only ones I can say I don't care for are Speer. Seems like the primers don't want to seat as smoothly.

As long as I slow down most all of them work and go bang just fine.
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